Bear with me here folks. My brain took several detours on this post.
I've noticed an increasing trend in people visiting my blog via Google searches for holiday party gift exchanges. That got me thinking to myself, "Self, what will I bring to this year's office holiday party gift exchange?" Last year, the big hits that changed hands multiple times were the coffee-related items and the assortment of hot sauces.
Tangent on Ice Pilots...
Thinking about hot sauces gave me a flashback to the 2002 ICEX. When a submarine does under-ice ops, you normally take a couple of Ice Pilots with you from the Arctic Submarine Lab. When our Ice Pilots embarked back in 2002, they brought with them a box full of assorted hot sauces. At every meal in the wardroom, we had at least two or three bottles to choose from on the table, and they brought some really good stuff. They used Sam McGee's as their supplier, and for a while after the ICEX, I continued to order hot sauces for my own home use from Sam McGee's. My favorite was the Trinidad (link is to the hot version, but they also have mild and extra hot varieties).
Tangent on Pick-Up Lines...
Lesson Learned for you young single bubbleheads reading this: After the ICEX when we pulled into Pearl Harbor for a port call, a couple of our junior officers thought that claiming to be an "Ice Pilot" would be a pretty good pickup line.
Yyyyyeah, not so much.
Girls were like, "You're a what? What's that?" As cool as we submariners might think it is, the girls at the clubs in town just didn't get it and weren't at all impressed.
Maybe they should've tried singing.
End of Tangents - Back to hot sauces...
While thinking about hot sauces, my mind also wandered over to the Chili Man. The Chili Man here in Loudoun County, Virginia, makes and bottles awesome hot sauces, salsas, sauces, and marinades from the chilis and herbs he grows at his farm right out here in Purcelville, VA. I was pleased to see you can now order his products off his website.
Tangent on Hot Sauce Humor...
I can't think of hot sauces anymore without hearing Tapatio's desperate voice shouting out, "Cholula, NOOOO!" from Hey Shipwreck Episode 13. For family members who normally skip over the Navy stuff on my blog (yes, I'm talking to you, Kelly :-) ), I recommend watching the second half of this video starting at about 3:35 or so into the video. Hey Shipwreck is a computer-graphics cartoon about a futuristic submarine with a couple of bored guys standing topside (guard) duty on the midwatch (night shift).
I never saw a sequel to that one, but I think the father was Texas Pete.
End of Tangents, returning to original topic of office holiday party gift exchanges.
Anyway, I'm thinking I'm gonna go the hot sauce route for the holiday gift exchange this year.
Do any of you have any other brilliant ideas for holiday gift exchanges that you're willing to share?
Oh! In case any of you who read last year's post were wondering, the Chia Shrek is still proudly displayed in our office. :-)